University of California professor Angela Davis, 79, got the surprise of her life when she learned last week that the Marxist was descended from one of only 101 passengers on the Mayflower and a slave-owning Revolutionary War soldier.
Needless to say, the former Black Panther, who won the Lenin Peace Prize in 1979 (formerly known as the Stalin Peace Prize), was stunned to learn about her true family ties.
Jean Genet, Angela Davis and Jane Fonda at a Black Panther meeting in 1968. pic.twitter.com/vFrr8ayYzu
— Andrew Marzoni (@andrewmarzoni) February 22, 2023
Famous black activist
Many of you know Angela Davis by name. Some of you won’t.
Those of you old enough may remember Davis for his involvement in a politically charged murder case in the 70s. The 26-year-old was jailed for her role in a shootout involving a prisoner escape, but was fully acquitted after serving 18 months.
Davis’ story inspired a movement and songs by famous artists such as “Sweet Black Angel” by Rolling Stone and “Angela” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
Controversial ties to a Marxist eventually cost Davis his UCLA professorship, but he eventually returned to the classroom as a humanities professor at the University of California. Davis is one of the founders of critical race theory.
Davis grew up in the “Dynamite Hill” neighborhood of Birmingham, Alabama. The nickname comes from the number of homes targeted by the Ku Klux Klan. Her upbringing inspired Davis to join the Black Panthers and the black branch of the Community Party.
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Among Davis’ accolades are:
- He contested twice as vice president on the Communist Party ticket
- Making the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list in the 70s
- Richard Nixon called him a “dangerous terrorist”.
- Part of the curriculum at Princeton’s Ivy League #BlackLivesMatter course
Davis has an identity, which means she is only concerned with promoting the interests of her own cultural group.
How Angela Davis ended up on the FBI’s Most Wanted List
The scholar and activist was tracked down and arrested by the FBI in 1970—and the experience informed her life’s work. https://t.co/dfjq5xA8fQ pic.twitter.com/y1rp8NWxhc
— Prison_Health (@Prison_Health) January 25, 2023
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Angela Davis’ family is associated with the Mayflower Pilgrims
Given Davis’ history of color, you can imagine how shocking it was to learn about her very white, slave-owning heritage on the set of PBS’s “Finding Your Roots” with Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Right off the bat, Gates presented Davis with a passenger manifest from the Mayflower.
The Marxist professor immediately came to the rescue – “No, my ancestors did not come here on the Mayflower”.
Then Gates drops the bombshell, “You are one of the 101 passengers on the Mayflower.” Davis’s heart visibly sinks. “Oof. That is a bit too much,” she exhales.
That’s right. Among the English families known as Pilgrims who sailed to the New World in 1620 was William Brewster, a descendant of a black radical activist.
Guess how many people in America can claim the legacy of the Mayflower past? Not much. But Angela Davis can – and she is not Happy about.
“Have you ever thought in your dreams that you might be descended from the people who laid the foundation for this country?” Gates asks.
“Never. Never. Never. Never,” Davis replied firmly.
“Do you know what you’re looking at? That’s the passenger list on the Mayflower.
— Henry Louis Gates Jr. (@HenryLouisGates) February 22, 2023
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Angela Davis’ family is linked to a Revolutionary War soldier who owns slaves
And Gates hasn’t dropped the bombs yet. In fact, the PBS host is getting started.
Gates told Davis that she “always thought of my ancestors as enslaved people,” who descended from Revolutionary War honors on her mother’s side. Also, Stephen Darden, a drummer in the 4th Virginia Regiment, later moved to Georgia and owned slaves.
The PBS host contends that his father, Benjamin Frank Davis, knew his birth father was white. Her white grandfather, Murphy Jones, had four children with her paternal grandmother, Molly Spencer.
It turns out that Davis is descended from at least one slave, as Spencer was born into slavery on a cotton plantation in Alabama.
The facts of the matter left Davis reeling, “I’ve always imagined my ancestors as enslaved people. My mind and my heart are swirling with all these conflicting emotions.
It must have felt like a bucket of cold water was dumped on Davis. After decades of devoting your life to promoting radical black and leftism, discover that you have been cut from your “oppressive” clothing.
Does this mean famous black activist Angela Davis should undergo restitution? Some say yes.
Black Panther communist Angela Davis faces calls to pay compensation https://t.co/zlGTRudZLt pic.twitter.com/VHOzv9M69t
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) February 23, 2023
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